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Be Wealthy & Smart

Nov 26, 2016

Q. Linda, I bought a 2002 Porsche Boxster in 2013 for $13,000, low mileage, not much to repair until this year, I think my repair cost became 4K. I guess my car still worth about $8000, do you think I should trade in for another car? or drive to the ground? The engine is still very good, no problem in driving, but a little here and there problems are annoying.

First, good for you for buying a used car!

You saved yourself thousands of dollars and I hope you were able to invest some of that extra savings.

When a large repair bill occurs, it can create a crossroads - fix or trade in?

Here are some things to consider:

1. A $4,000 repair is still a lot cheaper than buying a new car, especially a new Porsche! New cars lose about 20% the first year, so that’s a big hit.

2. Often a larger bill will occur every 3 to 5 years. If it’s more frequent than that, consider a trade. Paying $4,000 every 5 years is still a lot cheaper than buying a new car.

3. If you feel like you’re being nickled and dimed to death, consider a trade.

It shouldn’t feel like things are always going wrong. You don’t want a car thats a pain in the neck and not operational. If your car is breaking down frequently, replace it. I’m not talking once or twice, but regularly. It’s dangerous and not something you should be dealing with.

4. Your insurance and registration fees can increase with a new car.

5. As a rule of thumb, I would put off buying a new (used) car as long as possible. It’s almost always better to repair a car that to buy a new one! I love my older cars and take great care of them. They are lasting really well!

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